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Candidates for city offices in Bountiful lack opponents

Three candidates are running for city offices in an election so quiet that none has an opponent.

Mayor John Cushing is seeking a second term.City Council member Sam Fowler is seeking another four-year term, and political newcomer Stewart Knowlton also is seeking a four-year council term.

Bountiful doesn't have districts, so Fowler and Knowlton are running for at-large positions on the council.

City Council member Ann Wilcox Hardy said in early October she would not seek re-election because it would create a conflict of interest since her husband, Tom Hardy, is Bountiful's city manager.

John Cushing, 63, retired from Metropolitan Life Insurance in 1993. He and his wife have four children, one foster child and 11 grandchildren. He served on the City Council from 1992-93.

Cushing said he wants to encourage volunteerism, especially among young people, and particularly supports the efforts of the Bountiful City Youth Council. He also lauds the work citizens undertook on the Bountiful Birthday committees.

Cushing said he wants the city to maintain a high level of public safety so citizens feel safe in their homes.

The city also must provide residents with essential public services with an eye toward keeping high environmental standards, Cushing said.

Cushing also said city officials and residents must closely watch state efforts to deregulate the electrical industry and make certain that the rights of municipalities are not eroded in the process.

Sam Fowler, 72, and his wife have six children and 19 grandchildren.

He said recent statistics show Bountiful has reached nearly the 93 percent mark in development so city officials must be careful about what is done with the remaining land.

The city annexed two parcels last year, one about 400 acres and the other about 29 acres, and Fowler said he wants careful planning for those developments. He said he also would like to see some attractive open space and recreational facilities such as new soccer fields.

"One of the ongoing issues is keeping the downtown business district alive," Fowler said. "The city did a beautification project there before I came on the council and we are maintaining it."

Stewart Knowlton, 28, is a sales consultant for Ivory Homes and the father of two young children. He and his wife moved to Bountiful 14 months ago "and just fell in love with it," he said.

The fact that there is no opposition in the election is a little scary since it indicates some apathy. Knowlton said he would like to get more citizen involvement and perhaps get council members to hold "cottage meetings" in informal settings to hear citizen concerns.

Development also is an issue. "Bountiful is close to being developed out. We need to be very careful about what we do in the future and look at every piece of land like it's our last piece of land, which it is."